Facial Recognition Gets Girl Scout Mom Kicked Out

Radio Surveillance Music Hall:

A sign says facial recognition is used as a security measure to ensure safety for guests and employees. Conlon says she posed no threat, but the guards still kicked her out with the explanation that they knew she was an attorney. [...]

Conlon is an associate with the New Jersey based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue now under the umbrella of MSG Entertainment.

"I don't practice in New York. I'm not an attorney that works on any cases against MSG," said Conlon.

But MSG said she was banned nonetheless -- along with fellow attorneys in that firm and others. [...]

"This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network," said Sam Davis, a partner at the firm where Conlon works.

Other firms have sued over being blacklisted. Conlon said she thought a recent judge's order in one of those cases made it clear that ticketholders like her "may not be denied entry to any shows." [...]

Davis is now upping the legal ante, challenging MSG's license with the State Liquor Authority.

"The liquor license that MSG got requires them to admit members of the public, unless there are people who would be disruptive who constitute a security threat," said Davis. "Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over -- and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information -- is absolutely absurd. The fact they're using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It's un-American to do this."

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10 Responses:

  1. CSL3 says:

    Ah, the Emerald Mine Space Karen technique.

    Right now, London Greed is both flustered ("Invasive tech in a public venue? How do we get it?!") and pissed off ("Why did NY get it first?")

  2. thielges says:

    This is crazy.  I’m guessing the venue has a “right to refuse anyone for any reason” policy that they think covers them.  But in this case the venue had no valid reason to ban this chaperone.  

    I’m usually laid back and non-confrontational yet have publicly said things that would piss of powerful people if they noticed.  I’m no stranger to being arrested for no valid reason but this takes it to a new level.  Given how the law tends to lag a decade behind tech, the next few years could be interesting.  

  3. cmt says:

    And soon it's "I wasn't involved in any cases against MSG until that day". Seriously, think first before getting into a pissing contest against a lawyer.

  4. J. Peterson says:

    Reminds me of this story (probably from Herp Caen ages ago):

    Guy decides to rent his house out. One of the applicants is a lawyer, but the guy rejects the lawyer's application, fearing that if anything goes wrong, the lawyer will inevitably sue. Somehow the lawyer finds out about this...and sues the guy for discrimination.

    • Scott says:

      And if the jurisdiction was in the U.S. then that lawyer most likely lost as openly discriminating against someone on the basis of occupation is generally 100 percent legal.

  5. Scott says:

    As part of my law practice I do general counsel work for businesses as well as some commercial litigation.  And I avoid businesses while they are opposing parties for this very reason.  

    The paranoid part of me has always believed that counsel on the other side is doing opposition research on the parties and their attorneys looking for some sort of edge.  I know from tools on my website and social media that they do background checks on attorneys, spider websites, will join social groups that they find, etc.  I have wondered whether they also go back and look to see if an opposing counsel has ever purchased anything from them, visited one of their stores, etc.  

    This story kinda confirms to me that they do all of that.  And apparently more.  This story is particularly interesting because MSG had not only that attorney's name in their database (despite having never been involved in a case) but also sufficient information and pictures to be able to do facial recognition......on someone they had never interacted with.

    • prefetch says:

      In this case it's not much of a stretch - it's standard practice for law firms to list all their staff online, complete with mugshots. But yes, the scope and ease of progressing from that to being approached by heavies in person is 'time to have a lie-down' unpleasant.

    • Gordon says:

      I would guess they had the facial recognition system in place already for dealing with problem customers then some manager involved in the case was feeling particularly spitefull after a difficult call or meeting and told an intern to go look up the lawyers on linkedin get all the profile pics and dump them into the facial recognition system.

      In a way that's a large part of the problem with these systems, once it's stood up abuse and scope creep become really easy. I bet if you go look in that database you will find a bunch of people who are in there cause they pissed off a tinder date who works at MSG, or they made a very reasonable but inconvenient complaint to a floor manager who was having a rough day etc etc

      • Gordon says:

        Access to interns is an interesting force multiplier as well. Most people will decide that a spitefull thought that would require a couple of hours of effort to action isn't worth the hassle. And if they do actually attempt to go through with it probably they will have calmed down and reconsidered things before they get it fully done. But if you can delegate it then for the person deciding to be spiteful it's become a couple of minutes of spite.

  6. Chris says:

    As sad as this is, the "un-American" part made me chuckle.

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